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Differently Eurosceptic: radical right populist parties and their supporters

McDonnell, Duncan, and Annika Werner. “Differently Eurosceptic: radical right populist parties and their supporters.” Journal of European Public Policy (2018): 1-18., 23 December

Since the 2008 crisis, radical right populist (RRP) party positions on European integration have hardened and/or increased in salience. But do their supporters align with them on this? And what role does Euroscepticism play in driving support for these parties? Using data from the ‘euandi’ voting advice application, we examine how close over 8000 RRP supporters in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Belgium were in 2014 to their parties on European integration and, for comparison, immigration. We find that, while they closely aligned on immigration, which remains a stronger predictor of support, they did not on European integration. We conclude, firstly, that increased salience of this issue does not necessarily lead to stronger linkages between parties and voters and that the consequences of positional congruence depend on salience congruence. Secondly, our findings suggest that RRP parties enjoy flexibility on European integration and can shift positions if necessary.

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